Light to the Nations - Week 14


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Light to the Nations - Week 14

  1. 1. S E S S I O N 14 Things too Wonderful for Me
  2. 2. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing … for a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. Isaiah 9:1-6 Midnight Mass, First Reading
  3. 3. A Vision Spanning Heaven and Earth “Pope Leo XIII was attending Mass [when] suddenly we saw him raise his head and stare at something above the celebrant‟s head. He was staring motionlessly, without batting an eye. His expression was one of horror and awe; the color and look on his face changing rapidly … Leo XIII truly saw in a vision demonic spirits who were congregating on the Eternal City (Rome).” Father Gabriele Amorth An Exorcist Tells his Story
  4. 4. An Epic Struggle • “The world is facing “the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through … the final confrontation between the Church and the anti- Church, or the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel” (Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, 1976.) • “The family is placed at the heart of the great struggle between good and evil, between life and death, between love and all that is opposed to love” (Pope John Paul II, Letter to Families, #23).
  5. 5. The Temptation of Job “The Lord said to Satan, „Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil … Behold, he is in your power; only spare his life.‟” Job 1:8 – 2:6
  6. 6. The Pathway of Job • The Beauty of Job: “There is none like him on the earth” (Job 1:8). • The Descent of Job: “Job said, „Let the day perish wherein I was born” (Job 3:3). • The Illumination of Job: “Then Job answered the Lord: „I know that thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of thine can be thwarted … Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know … but now my eye sees thee” (Job 42:1-5). • The Restoration of Job: “The Lord restored the fortunes of Job … and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10).
  7. 7. Last Fall we considered the first two stages in the story of Job: a beauty unlike anything else on earth and a stripping of that beauty with incredible suddenness.
  8. 8. The Beauty of Job “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God, and turned away from evil … the Lord said to Satan, „Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil.‟” Job 1:1-8
  9. 9. None Like it on Earth • “One flesh! … What the spouses achieve is not only a joining of bodies, but a true union of their persons … which is so deep that it in some way makes them a reflection of the ‘We’ of the three divine Persons in history” (Pope John Paul II, October 15, 2000). • As a sacrament, marriage actualizes that which it symbolizes. • “Man became the image of God not only through his own humanity, but also through the communion of persons, which man and woman form from the very beginning” (Pope John Paul II, November 14, 1979).
  10. 10. Job’s Descent into Self • The Loss of Fortune: “The Chaldeans … made a raid upon the camels and took them” (Job 1:17). • The Loss of Family: “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine … and they are dead” (Job 1:18-19). • The Loss of Health: “Satan … afflicted job with loathsome sores form the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” (Job 2:7). • The Loss of Friends: “Then Zophar answered [Job] … „Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves‟” (Job 11:1-6). • The Misunderstanding of Wife: “Then his wife said to him … „Curse God and die‟” (Job 2:9).
  11. 11. The Darkness of Modern Man • Ricoeur has called Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche „masters of suspicion‟” (John Paul II, October 29, 1980). • Fredrick Nietzsche: the desire for human to hasten their evolution into the “superman.” • Karl Marx: economic objectification of the individual. • Sigmund Freud: the desire to “kill the father.” • Sartre and du Beauvoir: Man is absolute freedom. Love is impossible. • End Result: A “culture of death” in which the human person is being changed before our eyes.
  12. 12. Source: Statistical Abstract of the US., Vital Statistics of the US. 1960 Current 0 10 20 30 50 40 PercentageIllegitimateBirths “A Culture of Death” Source: Statistical Abstract of the U.S. 1960 Current 0 6 12 18 24 PercentageofConceptionsAborted 1960 Current 0 10 20 30 40 MarriagesEndinginDivorce(%) Source: The Religious Factor,” (Lenkski, G., 1961). “The Number, Timing and Durantion of Marriages and Divorce: 1996,” U.S. Census Bureau. <1 ~22 5.3 40.7 ~14 ~40 “A Culture of Death” “The Missing Father”“The End of Love”
  13. 13. We had an incredible Fall – from a dignity almost unfathomable to a descent almost inconceivable. If we are willing to follow the story of Job, a light will shine in the darkness.
  14. 14. The Wonder of the Desert “I will cause all her mirth to cease, her solemnities, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her festival times. And I will destroy her vines, and her fig trees, of which she said: These are my rewards … Behold I will allure her, and will lead her into the wilderness: and I will speak to her heart.” Hosea 2:11-14 Douay-Rheims Version
  15. 15. The Illumination of Job • “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind … „Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? … who shut in the sea with doors … Have you commanded the morning since your days began … Have the gates of death been revealed to you … where is the way to the dwelling of light … Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars?‟” (Job 38:1 – 41:34). • “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know … but now my eye sees thee; therefore I despise myself” (Job 42:3-6).
  16. 16. The Church has been led into the desert. What is God saying to it? A message relating to the family!
  17. 17. Blessed Pope John XXIII • “Renew in our own days your miracles as of a second Pentecost” (Blessed Pope John XXIII, Preparatory Prayer for Vatican II). • Blessed Pope John XXIII travels to Loretto on October 4, 1962. • In the “holy house” at Loretto, he entrusts the Second Vatican Council to Our Lady.
  18. 18. The Second Vatican Council • “The family is, so to speak, the domestic church” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, #11). • “The family … is the foundation of society” (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, #52). • “God has judged [marriage] worthy of special gifts, healing, perfecting and exalting gifts of grace and charity” (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, #49).
  19. 19. Pope Paul VI and Nazareth • Pope Paul VI becomes first modern Pope to travel to the Holy Land in 1964. • “Nazareth is a kind of school where we may begin to discover what Christ‟s life was like and even to understand his Gospel … Here everything speaks to us, everything has meaning … How I would like to return to my childhood and attend the simple yet profound school that is Nazareth!” (Pope Paul VI, Address at the Basilica of the Annunciation, January 5, 1964).
  20. 20. Blessed Pope John Paul II and the Family • Begins Pontificate with catechesis on marriage – The Theology of the Body. • Assassination attempt on May 13, 1981 while on the way to found the Pontifical Academy of the Family. Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, which ends with a vision of the Holy Family. • “Future of the world and of the Church passes through the family.” • “The family is placed at the heart of the great struggle between good and evil, between life and death and between love and all that is opposed to love.” • Offers his suffering for the family.
  21. 21. Pope Benedict XVI: Family as Gospel • Deus Caritas Est: “Love is indeed „ecstasy‟, not in the sense of a moment of intoxication, but rather as a journey, an ongoing exodus out of the closed inward- looking self towards its liberation through self- giving, and thus towards authentic self-discovery and indeed the discovery of God” (Deus Caritas Est, #6). • “The word of God [from the Book of Sirach] presents the family as the first school of wisdom” (Homily, Mass at Nazareth, May 15, 2009). • “Matrimony is a Gospel in itself” (October 7, 2012).
  22. 22. Pope Francis and the Holy Family • Begins papal ministry by celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph, which includes the Gospel of the founding of the Christian family. • Papal crest has symbols for Jesus, Mary and Joseph – the Holy Family. • Pope Francis consecrated his ministry to Our Lady of Fatima.
  23. 23. The mystery of the family is being opened to the Church of our day in a new and particularly profound way. Our goal is to enter into this mystery.
  24. 24. Small Group Discussion Starter Questions 1. What things are you going to do to keep yourself better informed regarding the Church‟s teaching on marriage? 2. What was the last insight that you received from a talk or writing of the Holy Father? Next Week The Theology of Paradise